Andrew Fisher's fountain pen

This gold-plated fountain pen, engraved with Andrew Fisher’s signature, was given to Fisher during his prime ministerial career. A modest and frugal man, Fisher took good care of his pen by keeping it in a cigar case.

As a ‘tool of trade’ for a career politician, the pen holds deep meaning. Apart from his voice, the pen was the key component of a politician’s ‘tool kit’ at the time.

A gold fountain pen with a black base and a battered gold cigar case.

Photo: Hilary Wardhaugh/MoAD Collection 

Early in the twentieth century, fountain pens were both a widespread technology for written personal communication and status symbols. Manufacturers frequently adapted fountain pens to make them both more functional and more attractive.

The pen was kept in Andrew Fisher’s family but in 2008 his granddaughter sought a new home for it. It was initially given to Kevin Rudd, the first Labor prime minister from Queensland since Fisher and a passionate admirer of Fisher’s, who then facilitated its transfer to MoAD.